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Values Are Declining, but Americans Still Trust Themselves

A 2012 survey revealed an alarming decline in American's confidence in many traditional sources for values, including government, family, celebrities, leaders, and even faith in God. But according to the poll, we still have confidence in one thing—ourselves. That is, we believe in our own ability to get what we want through sheer hard work or moral effort.

The survey highlighted the following statistics:

  • 69 percent of those surveyed said that American values have declined since the 1970s. Only 17 percent believe that American values have strengthened since the 1970s.
  • The following factors were listed as contributing to the weakening of values in America:
    • Political corruption—63 percent
    • Too much focus on money and material things—61 percent
    • Declining family values—61 percent
    • Celebrity-obsessed culture—57 percent
    • Use of drugs and alcohol—55 percent
    • Lack of strong leaders and role models—53 percent
    • Apathy or lack of strong work ethic—47 percent
  • The study also found that fewer Americans believe in God.
    • 89 percent said they believe in God compared to 98 percent in 1967.
    • For survey respondents between the ages of 18-29, only 81 percent said they believed in God.
  • But confidence in our own abilities has not declined. Seventy percent of Americans believe that "with hard work I can accomplish anything."

Based on these statistics, an article about this survey was appropriately titled "Americans Are Losing Confidence in the Nation but Still Believe in Themselves."

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